Greece's Motor Oil posts 37 pct profit drop in Q1

Mon May 28, 2012 12:45pm EDT

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* Net income down 37 pct to 39.4 mln euros

* Beats analysts' estimate for 30.9 million euro profit

* Adjusted pre-tax profit up 4.3 pct on rising exports

ATHENS, May 28 (Reuters) - Motor Oil, Greece's second-biggest oil refiner, posted a 37-percent drop in first-quarter profit compared with the same period a year ago due to sharp fluctuations in the euro-dollar exchange rate and the global oil price.

Net income fell to 39.4 million euros ($49.30 million) from 62.3 million, the company said, but beat the average forecast of 30.9 million from five analysts in a Reuters poll.

Stripping out the value of oil inventories, which fluctuates with oil prices, the company said it slightly increased adjusted pre-tax profit to 41.5 million euros from 39.8 million last year.

This was largely due to exports, as Motor Oil resumed sales of refined products to Libya, whose market was closed last year because of the country's civil war. Total exports rose by 31 percent to 1.1 million tonnes, accounting for more than half of the company's overall sales volume.

Rising exports helped offset stagnant fuel demand in Motor Oil's austerity-hurt domestic market, where the company runs a petrol station network it acquired from Royal Dutch Shell .

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